30 years of Tiananmen Square: When China used tanks to break up student protests

YB WEB DESK. Dated: 6/7/2019 10:10:09 AM

China, June 6 Exactly 30 years ago, Beijing’s Tiananmen Square, from where Mao Zedong had announced the communist regime of China in 1949, was quite a scene. More than 10 lakh protesters, mostly university students, were on the ground demanding democracy, personal freedom and probe into corruption by ministers and top communist officials. The Chinese government had responded by sending tanks against the protesters and ordered firing on its own citizens. China had first denied any deaths in the incident and later put the death toll at 200. But in 2017, a BBC report cited a secret cable sent by Sir Alan Donald -- the then British ambassador to China -- to put the death toll at 10,000. The report stated that the original source [of information] was a friend of a member of China's State Council. Now, China’s defence minister, Wei Fenghe has defended the use of battle tanks on protesters at Tiananmen Square as a correct policy. That incident was a political turbulence and the central government took measures to stop the turbulence, which is a correct policy, said Wei on Sunday during his visit to Singapore. Tiananmen build-up The young protesters gathered at the Tiananmen Square in 1989 sought greater freedom, individual rights akin to those available in the West, and complained about very high inflation, stagnant salaries and housing problems. The sentiment was building among people since the late 1970s when China changed its economic model from state ownership to private enterprise and capitalism.

 

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